Ex-NYU Law dean, DA candidate join law firm involved in Trump cases

A man carries a briefcase as he walks near a Jobcentreplus branch in central London May 12, 2009. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - Litigation boutique Kaplan Hecker & Fink said Friday it has added two new attorneys to its ranks -- Trevor Morrison, the former dean of New York University Law School, and Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who lost the Democratic primary in last year's race to serve as Manhattan's district attorney.

Kaplan Hecker was co-founded by Roberta Kaplan, who in 2013 successfully challenged a federal law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

Since its launch in 2017, the firm has waged high-profile lawsuits against former U.S. President Donald Trump, including an ongoing defamation case, and secured a $26 million verdict against the leaders of a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly.

Morrison and Farhadian Weinstein will both be "of counsel" with the firm in what they described as part-time roles.

"To bring to the firm, even if for a piece of their time, lawyers of the caliber of Trevor and Tali, is a no-brainer. They are all-star lawyers," said name partner Sean Hecker.

Morrison said he will resume teaching at NYU following the end of his sabbatical. He stepped down as dean of the law school earlier this year after nine years in the role.

Farhadian Weinstein said she will continue her work as a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. At the firm, she said her work will focus on gender justice, reproductive rights and constitutional litigation.

"It was really an easy fit for me to join them in doing that work," she said.

Farhadian Weinstein came in second behind winner Alvin Bragg in last year's primary race to succeed Cyrus Vance as the Manhattan district attorney.

Kaplan Hecker & Fink is representing writer E. Jean Carroll in her defamation lawsuit against Trump. Carroll sued Trump in November 2019, five months after he denied raping her in the mid-1990s. In denying the allegations, Trump said at the time that Carroll was "not my type."

Trump was deposed in Carroll's lawsuit on Wednesday.

The firm launched in 2017 by Kaplan, a former partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and three other lawyers. It now has more than 60 lawyers in its ranks, said Julie Fink, the firm's managing partner.

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.